I was inspired by a Shell advertisement today. Yes, Shell like the corner gas station. I read the excerpt below and it moved me enough to go to the website, which excited me even more and provoked the thoughts Iâ€™m about to share with you.
The advertisement is entitled â€œSay No to Noâ€.
Isnâ€™t it high time someone got negative about negativity?
Yes, it is.
Look around. The world is full of things that, according to nay-sayers, should never have happened.
And yet â€œyesâ€.
Yes, continents have been found.
Yes, men have played golf on the moon.
Yes, straw is being turned into biofuel to power cars.
Yes, yes, yes.
What does it take to turn no into yes?
Curiosity. An open mind. A willingness to take risks.
And, when the problem seems most insoluble, when the challenge is hardest, when everyone else is shaking their heads, to say: letâ€™s go.
So I read that. Twice. And then went to the website to see what all the fuss was about.
There, I learned all about an alternative fuel called GTL (Gas to Liquid) that is compatible with diesel engines. GTL is natural gas converted to liquid, a technology invented in laboratories in the 1930â€™s, but thought to be commercially unviable. However, this technology has the potential to mitigate our dependence on oil and it burns up to 40% cleaner than gasoline. So, if the problem of commercial viability could be solved, the impact would be enormous on numerous levels.
Shell saw this potential and invested millions of dollars in making it work. Thatâ€™s a pretty big risk. But the payoff could be tremendous. For everyone. If you go to the website and view the short film entitled â€œClearing the Airâ€, youâ€™ll see a dramatic rendition of their vision, along with an entire plot, including love interests and an epilogue, which I wasnâ€™t expecting. But theyâ€™re making it happen. GTL is in use in much of Europe and Shell is building the largest GTL production site to date in Quatar by the end of the decade.
All of this made me think about the perception of skepticism as a negative force and how we really need to combat that.
We donâ€™t want to be the curmudgeons that stifle curiosity and squelch ideas. We donâ€™t want to be the nay-sayers referenced above.
Itâ€™s not enough to have great ideas. You have to be right.
Innovation doesnâ€™t come from caution, but itâ€™s a necessary part of the equation.
Itâ€™s all about the intersection of passion and knowledge. Itâ€™s about allowing yourself the freedom to dream anything, but not becoming attached to any of your own ideas too much to turn your back based on the data. Itâ€™s about fanning the flame of inspiration, but tempering it with skepticism.
And thatâ€™s all I have to say about the Shell advertisement today.